UAE strategy to boost domestic tourism

Eudore R. Chand

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

DUBAI 13 December 2020: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, approved the new UAE Strategy for Domestic Tourism that aims to develop a comprehensive scheme to regulate the local tourism sector in a solid collaboration among the relevant local and federal entities.

He revealed a new unified tourism identity, as part of the UAE Nation Brand, to establish the country’s status as an ideal tourist destination locally and globally, and to share its inspiring story with the world.

Sheikh Mohammed launched the first federal domestic tourism campaign titled “World’s Coolest Winter” to invite the public to explore the hidden gems of the seven emirates. The 45-day campaign, overseen by the Ministry of Economy in collaboration with local tourism entities and supported by the UAE Government Media Office, aims to highlight the major landmarks and attractions that distinguish every emirate and contribute to the UAE as a single destination, said official news agency Wam.

Sheikh Mohammed said promoting the UAE as a single tourist destination with diverse attractions and experiences boosts the country’s tourism sector as an integral part of the national economy.

During a special event in Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum reviewed the goals and plans of the new domestic tourism strategy and identity.

Sheikh Mohammed said, “the UAE Strategy for Domestic Tourism marks the beginning of unifying our efforts and coordinating our capabilities towards harnessing all of our tourism resources in the best possible way. Today, we are launching the first of many campaigns to develop this vital sector of our economy.”

He added, “we also launched a unified tourism identity to promote the UAE as a single tourist destination that shares the same national economy and provides equal opportunities for UAE youth.”

Dh41bn Spend

He noted, “Domestic tourism spending in the UAE stands at Dh41 billion. With a solid federal collaboration, we can double the contributions of the domestic market and create new opportunities for the small business industries across the country.” He stressed that “working as one team in the tourism sector will bring long-term benefits to every part of the UAE and boost our status globally as a single destination that offers rich and diverse experiences.”

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said, “Each of the seven emirates features rich tourist experiences, massive resources and cultural, archaeological and architectural treasures. We aim to unify our efforts to maximise returns.” He added, “We invite the private sector to take this campaign as an opportunity to strengthen partnerships with the government to bring greater value and accelerate the country’s economic recovery.”

He said that “the UAE hosts an exceptional winter and offers the best services that tourists can utilize inside and outside the country.”

“Winter brings great moments and experiences. Like everything else in the UAE, we aim to make every winter the best in the world.”

Rediscover UAE

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum invited citizens and residents of different age groups, interests and backgrounds, to rediscover the UAE’s landmarks, reconnect with nature and share their experiences on social media platforms.

The UAE Strategy for Domestic Tourism was launched with a vision that recognises the importance of developing a comprehensive federal scheme to regulate the UAE’s local tourism sector. The Strategy aims to establish collaboration among local and federal tourism entities and reinforce the role of domestic tourism as a vital supporter of the national economy. It seeks to build a unified tourism identity that supports the objectives of the UAE Nation Brand to celebrate the country’s distinctive features and cement its status as an ideal tourist destination locally and globally.

As part of the strategy, efforts will be coordinated to highlight the UAE’s major natural, cultural, heritage and historical attractions, using surveys to collect data on people’s interests and hobbies with aims to develop a unique touristic experience on federal and local levels. Through plans and policies, the Strategy will promote the unique tourist experience that every part of the UAE offers, highlighting major historical, natural and heritage sites, festivals and activities of each emirate that contribute to making the UAE an ideal tourist destination. It will also focus on fostering a sense of connection and belonging to the UAE through reigniting the passion of discovery, especially in the young generation, of the country’s hidden gems.

Promo Campaigns Coming

As part of its objectives, the strategy strives to boost the domestic tourist experience based on the highest standards, which reflect the UAE’s status as an ideal destination that provides a wide variety of tourist experiences to cater to different needs and tastes. It aims to support local tourism experiences, under a unified identity, that aligns with the objectives of the UAE Nation Brand to establish a positive image of the country regionally and internationally. Under the strategy, the UAE will develop a comprehensive plan to launch tourism campaigns and initiatives on a federal level throughout the year.

The strategy will be implemented through a number of measures that include: building capabilities and diversifying resources to boost the local tourism in each emirate; supporting the growth of domestic tourism companies; driving investment in local tourism projects; developing policies and plans to promote domestic tourism in the UAE, under a unified tourism identity; launching training and academic programmes in domestic tourism; unifying local tourism legislations; building public-private partnerships in the tourism sector; inviting the hospitality sector to offer promotional packages that encourage winter tourism across the UAE; and launching a website on domestic tourism in the UAE.

Doubling the Contribution

The UAE’s domestic tourism sector contributed Dh41.2 billion ($11.2 billion) to the national economy in 2019. It constitutes 23 percent of the total tourism sector revenue, compared to 77 percent of shares taken up by international tourism. As part of the new strategy, the country aims to double the domestic tourism revenue and achieve a greater balance between the two forms of tourism by 2030.

Under the UAE Nation Brand that was launched earlier this year, the new unified tourism identity seeks to highlight the country’s distinctive elements and establish its status as an ideal tourist destination. The unified tourism identity aims to celebrate the UAE’s natural, historical, civilisational, cultural and humanitarian elements on local and global levels as part of the country’s inspiring story. It strives to boost and promote touristic facilities as an integral part of the national economy in efforts to diversify the country’s resources in the post-oil era.

World’s Coolest Winter

The ‘World’s Coolest Winter’, the first federal tourism campaign of its kind to be launched under the UAE Strategy for Domestic Tourism, is part of a wider vision that aims to boost local tourism under a solid collaboration among cultural and tourism entities of the seven emirates.

The Ministry of Economy will oversee the campaign, which will run for 45 days, in collaboration with local tourism entities and the UAE Government Media Office.

The ‘World’s Coolest Winter’ campaign aims to promote domestic tourism across the emirates during winter season for the unique opportunities that the season presents in discovering the UAE’s nature sights and historical landmarks. Through encouraging the public to explore the country’s hidden gems, the campaign will highlight the unique tourist experience that every emirate offers and the major sites and festivals that set each emirate apart.

The ‘World’s Coolest Winter’ campaign aims to harness the ideally pleasant climate of the year to promote the UAE’s diverse cultural, entertainment, social and sports activities that cater to different needs and ages. It seeks to foster a culture of winter tourism in the UAE’s richly diverse society, encouraging the public to enjoy outdoor activities and sports in the breathtaking nature sites of the beach, mountains, desert, oases and conservation reserves.

Active Lifestyle

As part of efforts to promote an active lifestyle, the campaign will also highlight different outdoor sporting events and festivals such as watersports, hiking, jogging, cycling, mountain biking, camping, desert safaris and beach picnics.

Running during the winter season, the campaign presents an opportunity for families and friends to connect and embark on different outdoor adventures across the country. The campaign brings together citizens and residents from different nationalities, cultures and interests towards discovering the UAE’s hidden gems. Citizens and residents across different segments are encouraged to share their stories and adventures on social media platforms.


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